Petrova captures group at TOC

3:51 PM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
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Sofia, Bulgaria (Sports Network) - Nadia Petrova went 3-0 in round-robin play and captured a group win at the $750,000 Tournament of Champions.

The second-seeded Russian was perfect in the four-player Sredets Group in Sofia after coming from behind to beat eighth-seeded heavy Bulgarian crowd favorite Tsvetana Pironkova 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 Friday on the indoor hardcourts at Armeets Arena. Pironkova (1-2), like Petrova, had already qualified for Saturday's semifinals at this season-ending event.

Petrova's semifinal opponent will be fourth-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci (2-1), while Pironkova should have her hands full with top-seeded former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki (3-0) on Saturday.

Wozniacki captured this week's four-player Serdika Group.

Also on Friday, alternate Sofia Arvidsson (1-0) was leading sixth-seeded Zheng Jie (0-3) when the Chinese retired from their bout while trailing 1-5 in the first set. Arvidsson replaced ill third seeded Maria Kirilenko (1-1) in the eight-woman field on Thursday.

The Tournament of Champions is the finale for the WTA's International Series, with the six highest-ranked players who have won an International title this year -- and two wild cards -- comprising an eight-woman field. The Serdika Group boasted Wozniacki, Vinci, fifth-seeded Taiwanese Su-Wei Hsieh (0-2) and seventh-seeded Slovak Daniela Hantuchova (0-2), while the four- player Sredets Group featured Petrova, Zheng, Pironkova, and Arvidsson, following Kirilenko's withdrawal.

The tournament format sees two round-robin groups play out over the first four days, with the semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday.

The Sports Network

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